Veterans Day celebrated early with Nevada High School students

Story and photos submitted by Christine Lloyd
Paul Ackerman and family

Veterans and community members joined the Nevada High School student body at the Josephine Tope Community Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 9, to observe an early Veterans Day.

Seniors Connor MacVey, Nathan Reynolds and William Sutton, all Boys State Citizens, led the program. Don Kockler, Commander of American Legion Post 48 from Nevada, addressed the audience and asked them to never forget the sacrifice of our veterans. A key component of the ceremony was the presentation of a Quilt of Valor to Paul Ackerman as a token of appreciation for his service. Ackerman, a Nevada High School graduate, served in the United States Marines during the Korean War era.

William Sutton, Boys State Citizen, read a short description of the mission of the Quilts of Valor, along with a short biography of Paul Ackerman and concluded with “May you find comfort when wrapped in your Quilt of Valor,” as Mindy Tillotson, Mary Jo McLaughlin and Cassie Harrell from the American Legion Auxiliary wrapped the quilt around Ackerman. A second quilt recipient, Richard “Red” Huff, was unable to attend the program due to illness.

Along with the quilt presentations, other memorable moments during the program included: the audience singing the national anthem and saying the Pledge of Allegiance, poems read by students, a short video and musical tribute to the veterans, a choir performance of “America the Beautiful” and the recognition of all veterans who were in attendance.

“The Veterans Day assembly was 30 of the most valuable minutes our students will experience this school year,” said high school Principal Kody Asmus. “It was great to see our students, faculty, staff, the community and local veterans come together and celebrate individuals who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The content of the assembly — the poems, the songs, the speakers and the silence at the very end while “Taps” was being played — had a lasting effect on every person that attended our Veterans Day Assembly. With the assembly being the day after Election Day, it was great to see everyone come together and be unified on a topic and celebrate our veterans.”

Senior Trevor Fulkerson said, “I thought the program was very neat. My favorite part was when the video and song played. It made me sad, but it also made me appreciate the hard work that our veterans and current military have done to keep me safe.”

Nevada’s American Legion Auxiliary members were part of another Quilts of Valor presentation Friday at the Talent Factory.